PSU prof makes cancer breakthrough

Community health professor Jan Semenza recently published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, exposing why certain smokers are extremely susceptible to cancer and others are not.

Semenza, an associate professor of community health at Portland State’s School of Community Health, is a molecular biologist who has traveled the world over to study and fight disease.

According to the university, Semenza conducted a three-year study called “Gene-Environment Interactions in Renal Cell Carcinoma,” which was published on May 1, that examined 115 cases of kidney or renal cancer and 259 randomly selected subjects living in Orange County, Calif.

The university reported that Semenza’s study demonstrated that even though renal cancer increased among smokers, results showed that patients were at a 3.2 times greater risk of developing cancer if they had an impaired metabolism versus smokers with normal metabolism.

Semenza, who is working in Haiti fighting an outbreak of polio, was unavailable at press time for comment.